Foreword Reviews

The Abyss Surrounds Us

17-year-old Cassandra Leung has worked her entire life to become a Reckoner trainer, one of those entrusted with managing the “ruthless killing machines” used in her world to protect boats as they navigate pirate-infested waters. The Reckoners are genetically engineered beasts, or sea monsters, whose care and maintenance have become something of a family business for the Leungs. But, just as Cas takes on her first solo mission, the pirate queen Santa Elena captures her, spiriting her back to her boat. For the pirate queen has other plans for Cas—namely, fighting Reckoners with Reckoners. She wants Cas to help raise a genetically engineered “pup” and teach the monster to fight for the pirates, threatening that Cas’s blood will be spilled next if she refuses.

The Abyss Surrounds Us is richly drawn, a science-fiction universe with its own set of laws and customs. A strong and fierce narrator, Cas struggles to find her own identity even as she battles for survival. Emily Skrutskie’s work asks how one young woman might redefine herself when new challenges push her to her limits.

Reviewed by Stephanie Bucklin

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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